Computerized assessment of memory performance in dementia

Can J Neurol Sci. 1978 Aug;5(3):307-12. doi: 10.1017/s0317167100024392.


Memory deficits in demented patients were studied by applying a computerized system to titrate individual memory performance. Two delayed matching to sample tasks were used. ABA1 involved random visual shapes used as a measure of visual memory. ABA2 involved nonsense syllable trigrams used as a measure of verbal memory. A Human Test System panel with a display screen was utilized. This screen was a rear view projection window divided into four independent 3 X 2 sections arranged in a 2 X 2 matrix. The sample stimulus appeared on the upper left window for one second. The delay interval between stimulus sample and choices varied by 7 seconds dependent upon patient performance per trial. Also utilized was a color distractor task. Task parameters, data acquisition, retrieval, and graphic print-outs were all computerized. Individual titration levels reflected the severity of neurological impairment. Computerized assessment enabled subtle changes in memory performance to be readily identified. Implications for use of the system as a screening device in the assessment of mental changes in the elderly are apparent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Atrophy
  • Brain / pathology
  • Dementia / diagnosis*
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriosclerosis / diagnosis
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Middle Aged